ESPN and the Boston Globe report that the Red Sox are closing in (get it?) on a deal that would bring Pittsburgh Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan to Boston for prosepcts Stolmy Pimental and Jerry Sands. The Globe adds that the Pirates initially wanted the heavily-touted Jose Iglesias as part of the deal, but that Boston wouldn’t budge. That’s not too surprising given that Stephen Drew only has a one-year contract – but it seems like the Sox are really counting on Iglesias getting his hitting together in the minors this year so that they can call him a viable option at shortstop in time for the free-agent market to open up again next year.
The Hanrahan trade also, obviously, leaves Andrew Bailey’s future up in the air. Not that he had much of a chance to wow the organization last year after spending most of it on the DL following his time in Oakland.
For what it’s worth, Hanrahan should be fine. He notched 36 saves last year, but it took him 63 appearances to do so. And, he has a 3.74 lifetime ERA. The closer market’s not great this year, and at the very least, this moves up the entire bullpen without sacrificing much equity.
Also, Cody Ross is officially an Arizona Diamondback. He had some interesting comments to the media on the way out of town. The Globe quotes Ross, talking about the Red Sox’s efforts to keep him on the roster:
“I don’t know what happened but we could never agree on terms. They thought I’d come back no matter what because they thought I loved playing there. And I did. Who wouldn’t love playing at Fenway Park? I just wanted a fair deal. I told them what I wanted. I wasn’t trying to break the bank. They weren’t willing to do it.”
That’s polite, but kind of a damning and insightful thing to say. The Red Sox do tend to ask their stars to re-sign at a deficit, because their stars (until lately, anyway) loved playing in Boston. The fact that Ross couldn’t be convinced to sign at a lower value just because he “loved” playing at Fenway is kind of a big deal to me. The bubbles that start the boil, maybe. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Sox have trouble hanging on to their marquee players from here on out.
Which gives us a nice segue into Ross’s other comment, on ex-manager Bobby Valentine. Ross alluded that he got along with Valentine better than any other player on the team. “When Bobby came in,” Ross told the Globe, “his way of doing things was a lot different than what they were used to under Terry Francona and it was a shock to them. They weren’t on board with it.”
Also, Ben Cherington is officially Not Talking About Mike Napoli. This should end well.